What Is The Difference Between Tree Pruning and Tree Trimming?

To most people tree trimming and pruning is the same thing and they are both right and wrong to think that, that’s because both techniques are employed by homeowners when taking care of their gardens. The difference between these two techniques is why they are done; gardeners or homeowners trim for the following reasons:

  • Manage fruit or flower production
  • Improve tree structure
  • Save a damaged tree after a disaster
  • Manage health
  • Reduce wind resistance
  • Reduce shade

On the other hand, pruning is done for the following reasons

  • Remove overgrown, unwieldy or dangerous branches
  • Safety reasons
  • Encourage healthy and strong tree growth.

Focus: Trimming

Let’s assume that the tree you planted 10 years ago is too close to a power and hence can interfere with electrical service or is a hazard to your home or someone else’s. If that tree falls and destroys property or injures someone you may be responsible for damage caused if evidence is found that you failed to maintain the tree. It is called negligence and depending on the nature of the resulting damage you may find yourself behind bars or may have to part with a huge chunk of your hard earned money.

Trimming is a service that should be performed at least twice a year depending on the plant species. Species that grow faster should be trimmed more frequently.

In simple terms, trimming is the tidying up of hedges, small shrubs, and overgrown branches. Trimming is done aesthetics but sometimes it is done for safety reasons. Also, overgrowth reduces the amount of light and moisture a shrub receives and that can affect plant health.

Focus: pruning

Pruning s done primarily for safety reasons, the idea is to prevent dead, dying or decaying branches from harming other plants, people or causing property damage. Another reason pruning is done is to eliminate diseases, pest infestations and stimulate the tree. There are two forms of pruning:

  • Topiary: this is where you shape trees into geometric or animal shape
  • Pollarding: this is done annually to produce new shoots.

What to use?

Pruning and trimming can be done using a machete, electric chainsaw, battery-powered chainsaws, and other dangerous equipment. To avoid losing or if you have a small garden, this is what you need:

  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers
  • Pole pruner
  • Hedge sheers

When to do it

Normally, trimming should be done at least twice a year depending on the species. Flowering trees should be trimmed before blooming cycle begins. Light trimming can be done any time of the year, remember it’s all about looks. If you should always remove a tree that is dead or diseased.

Pruning, on the other hand, is best done during winter to avoid spreading disease. Depending on the species you should do it at least twice a year or when a tree poses a threat to you, property, or other people.

From far pruning and trimming are the same things, the terms are used interchangeably but they both refer to Vancouver, BC tree maintenance.